[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 72 (Monday, April 15, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22347-22349]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08704]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-320; NRC-2013-0065]


GPU Nuclear Inc., Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station, Unit 
2, Exemption From Certain Security Requirements

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John B. Hickman, Office of Federal and 
State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-
3017; email: John.Hickman@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1.0 Background

    GPU Nuclear, Inc. (GPUN, the licensee) is the licensee and holder 
of Facility Operating License No. DPR-73 issued for Three Mile Island 
Nuclear Power Station (TMI), Unit 2, located in Dauphin County, 
Pennsylvania. TMI Unit 2 is a permanently shutdown nuclear reactor 
facility. TMI Unit 2 was a pressurized water reactor that was operated 
from December 1978 until March 28, 1979, when the unit experienced an 
accident which resulted in severe damage to the reactor core.
    As a result of this accident, small quantities of core debris and 
fission products were transported through the Reactor Coolant System 
and the reactor building during the accident. In addition, a small 
quantity of core debris was transported to the auxiliary and fuel 
handling buildings. Further spread of the debris also occurred as part 
of the post-accident water processing cleanup activities.
    TMI Unit 2 has been placed in a safe, inherently stable condition 
suitable for long-term management. Fuel and core material was removed 
in the defueling and has been shipped off site. The removed fuel is 
currently in storage at Idaho National and Environmental Engineering 
Laboratory (INEEL), and the U.S. Department of Energy has taken title 
and possession of the fuel.
    Substantial contaminated areas still exist at the facility, as well 
as trace quantities of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The quantity of fuel 
remaining at TMI Unit 2 is a small fraction of the initial fuel load; 
approximately 99% was successfully removed in the defueling. 
Additionally, large quantities of radioactive fission products were 
released into various systems and structures. Most of this 
radioactivity was removed as part of the waste processing activities 
during the TMI Unit 2 Clean-up Program. Significant quantities of 
radioactive fission products were removed from the reactor coolant 
system. Most of the residual fuel remaining is fixed in the form of 
fine and granular debris that is inaccessible to defueling, tightly 
adherent surface deposits not readily removable by available dynamic 
defueling techniques, and resolidified material that is either tightly 
adherent to the reactor vessel components or inaccessible to defueling. 
There is no physical inventory requirement for special nuclear material 
(SNM) quantities at TMI Unit 2 during post-defueled monitored storage 
because the remaining materials are of low enrichment, highly 
radioactive and relatively inaccessible.
    Part 73 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), 
``Physical Protection of Plants and Materials'' ``prescribes 
requirements for the establishment and maintenance of a physical 
protection system which will have capabilities for the protection of 
special nuclear material at fixed sites and in transit and of plants in 
which special nuclear material is used.'' Section 73.55(b)(1), entitled 
``Requirements for physical protection of licensed activities in 
nuclear power reactors against radiological sabotage,''

[[Page 22348]]

states, ``The licensee shall establish and maintain a physical 
protection program, to include a security organization, which will have 
as its objective to provide high assurance that activities involving 
special nuclear material are not inimical to the common defense and 
security and do not constitute an unreasonable risk to the public 
health and safety.''
    The Power Reactor Security Rule, which applies to all 10 CFR part 
50 licensees, was revised on March 27, 2009, with compliance required 
by March 31, 2010 (74 FR 13926). The NRC held a webinar on July 20, 
2010, to provide clarification on the applicability of the power 
reactor security regulations to 10 CFR part 50 licensees undergoing 
decommissioning or 10 CFR part 50 licensees that have only a general 
licensed Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). By letter 
dated August 2, 2010, the NRC informed GPUN of the applicability of the 
revised rule and stated that GPUN should evaluate the applicability of 
the regulation to its facility and either make appropriate changes or 
request an exemption (ML102080269).

2.0 Request/Action

    By letter dated November 22, 2010 (ML110730375), and supplemented 
by email dated February 8, 2013 (ML13044A053), GPUN responded to the 
NRC's letter and requested exemptions from certain security 
requirements in 10 CFR 73.55.

3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific Exemptions,'' the Commission 
may, upon application of any interested person or upon its own 
initiative, grant such exemptions from the requirements in 10 CFR Part 
73 as it determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the 
public interest.
    The purpose of the security requirements of 10 CFR Part 73, as 
applicable to a 10 CFR Part 50 licensed facility, is to prescribe 
requirements for a facility that possesses and utilizes SNM. The fuel 
removed from TMI Unit 2 is currently in storage at Idaho National and 
Environmental Engineering Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy 
has taken title and possession of the fuel. With the completion of the 
fuel transfer, there is no longer any SNM located within TMI Unit 2 
other than that contained in plant systems as residual contamination.
    The remaining radioactive material is in a form that does not pose 
a risk of removal (i.e., an intact reactor pressure vessel and 
contaminated structures) and is well dispersed and is not easily 
aggregated. With the removal of the fuel containing SNM, the potential 
for radiological sabotage or diversion of SNM at the 10 CFR Part 50 
licensed site was eliminated.
    For clarity, the staff grouped each GPUN exemption request into one 
of two categories:
    (1) Exemption denied because the regulations are not applicable to 
the facility; and
    (2) Exemption granted.

3.1 Exemption Denied Because the Regulations Are Not Applicable to the 
Facility

    The licensee has requested exemptions from the cyber security and 
protection of digital assets regulations as delineated in 10 CFR 
73.55(a)(1), 73.55(b)(8), 73.55(b)(9)(ii)(C), 73.55(c)(1)(i), 
73.55(c)(6), and 73.55(m)(2). Cyber Security under 10 CFR 73.54 is 
applicable to licensees currently ``licensed to operate a nuclear power 
plant under Part 50.'' Since TMI Unit 2 is licensed to possess but not 
operate a nuclear power plant, requirements under 10 CFR 73.54 do not 
apply. Consequently, requirements under 10 CFR 73.55 that reference 
cyber security or protection of digital assets are not applicable and 
the exemptions are denied. The licensee also requested an exemption 
from 10 CFR 73.55(f)(2). In 10 CFR 73.55(f)(2) also specifies cyber 
security requirements that are not applicable to TMI Unit 2, therefore 
that exemption is denied.

3.2 Exemption Granted

    The licensee has requested exemptions from the target sets 
requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(b)(4), 10 CFR 73.55(f)(1), 10 CFR 
73.55(f)(3), and 10 CFR 73.55(f)(4). Due to the status of TMI Unit 2, 
permanently shutdown with virtually all fuel removed from the facility, 
there is no longer any equipment or facilities that need to be 
protected. Therefore, there are no designated Target Sets identified 
for TMI Unit 2. Therefore, regulations which refer to Target Sets are 
not necessary for TMI Unit 2 and the requested exemptions are granted.
    The licensee has requested an exemption from the bullet-resisting-
physical barriers requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(e)(5) with respect to 
the main control room (MCR). Due to the status of TMI Unit 2, 
permanently shutdown with virtually all fuel removed from the facility, 
the TMI Unit 2 MCR has no operational or safety function and is no 
longer continuously manned or classified as a vital area. With the TMI 
Unit 2 MCR no longer performing the original design safety function, 
there is no need for it to be protected by bullet resisting barriers. 
Therefore, the requested exemption is granted.
    The licensee has requested exemption from the vital areas 
requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(e)(9)(v), for the reactor control room, 
(e)(9)(v)(A), and the spent fuel pool, (e)(9)(v)(B). Due to the 
permanently defueled and shutdown status of the facility, the TMI Unit 
2 MCR is no longer a functional facility for controlling reactivity or 
safety related systems. Because the MCR no longer performing any vital 
control or safety function it does not need to be considered a vital 
area from a security perspective. The TMI Unit 2 spent fuel pool (SFP) 
has been drained and decontaminated and no longer serves as a spent 
fuel pool. Therefore, the TMI Unit 2 SFP is not a vital security area 
with respect to TMI Unit 2. Therefore, the requested exemptions are 
granted.
    The licensee has requested an exemption from the waterways 
requirements at 10 CFR 73.55(e)(10)(ii)(A). By email dated February 8, 
2013, the licensee clarified that their original request for exemption 
from 10 CFR 73.55(e)(11)(A) was a typographical error and that they 
intended to request an exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(e)(10)(ii)(A). Due 
to the status of TMI Unit 2, permanently shutdown with virtually all 
fuel removed from the facility, there is no longer any equipment or 
facilities that need to be protected. The Unit 2 River Water Intake 
Structure is no longer considered a vital area and all equipment 
previously located within the intake structure has been removed and 
piping leading to the Protected Area has been filled in with concrete 
and stone. Based on the reduced need for security at the permanently 
defueled and shutdown facility, there is no need for waterway security 
and no need to identify areas from which a waterborne vehicle must be 
restricted. Therefore, the exemption is granted.
    The licensee has requested exemption from the requirements for 
communication in 10 CFR 73.55(j)(4), (j)(4)(ii), and (n)(5), 
specifically, for communications with the MCR and testing 
communications with the MCR and local law enforcement agencies (LLEAs). 
Due to the permanently defueled and shutdown status of the facility the 
TMI Unit 2 MCR is no longer continuously manned or functional from a 
security perspective. Since the MCR no longer performs any vital 
control or safety function there is no need to maintain communications 
capability with the MCR. The removal

[[Page 22349]]

of the SNM from the site obviates the need for communications between 
the alarm stations and the MCR or LLEAs and the testing of such 
communications systems. Therefore, the requested exemptions are 
granted.
    The licensee has requested an exemption from the safeguards 
contingency plan requirement in 10 CFR 73.55(c)(5). With the SNM 
removed from the TMI Unit 2 site, the protection of the SNM is no 
longer required of Unit 2. Because there is no SNM to protect, there is 
no need for the physical protection requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 (c)(5) 
which requires a safeguards contingency plan. Therefore the exemption 
is granted.
    Therefore, the continued application of the previously discussed 10 
CFR Part 73 requirements to TMI Unit 2, are not necessary to achieve 
the underlying purpose of the rule. Additionally, with the removal of 
the spent nuclear fuel from the site, the radioactive materials 
remaining on the 10 CFR Part 50 licensed site would be comparable to a 
source and byproduct licensee that uses general industrial security 
(i.e., locks and barriers) to protect the public health and safety. As 
stated in the regulations, Part 73, ``* * * prescribes requirements for 
the establishment and maintenance of a physical protection system which 
will have capabilities for the protection of special nuclear material 
at fixed sites and in transit and of plants in which special nuclear 
material is used.'' The possession and responsibility for the security 
of the SNM was transferred to INEEL and is no longer the responsibility 
of the licensee. Therefore, protection of the SNM is no longer a 
requirement of the licensee's 10 CFR Part 50 license.
    With no SNM to protect, there is no need for a cyber security plan, 
target sets, bullet resisting physical barriers at the MCR, vital area 
requirements for the MCR or SFP, waterway security, continuous 
communications with the MCR or LLEA, or a safeguards contingency plan 
for the TMI Unit 2, 10 CFR Part 50 licensed site.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, an exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the 
public interest because the security requirements for the spent fuel 
containing SNM are no longer the responsibility of the licensee. 
Therefore, the Commission hereby grants GPU Nuclear, Inc., an exemption 
from the physical protection requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 (b)(4), 
(f)(1), (f)(3), (f)(4), (e)(5), (e)(9)(v)(A), (e)(9)(v)(B), 
(e)(10)(ii)(A), (j)(4)(ii), (n)(5), and (c)(5) at TMI Unit 2.
    This licensing action meets the categorical exclusion provision in 
10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(F). This action is an exemption from the 
requirements of the Commission's regulations. For the reasons detailed 
above in the staff's analysis of the request, (i) the exemption 
involves no significant hazards consideration; (ii) there is no 
significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts 
of any effluents that may be released offsite; (iii) there is no 
significant increase in individual or cumulative occupational radiation 
exposure; (iv) there is no significant construction impact; (v) there 
is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from 
radiological accidents. The requirements from which an exemption is 
sought involve safeguard plans and is one of the categories of 
exemptions identified in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(F) as appropriate for 
application of this categorical exclusion.
    Therefore, this action does not require either an environmental 
assessment or an environmental impact statement.
    These exemptions are effective immediately.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of April 2013.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Larry W. Camper,
Director, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
Programs.
[FR Doc. 2013-08704 Filed 4-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P